Fine Arts Camp

Last week Lucas attended a Fine Arts Camp through Fair Oaks Rec and Park District. It was four mornings, 9 to 1 p.m. He painted with watercolors and acrylics; he drew with sharpies on foil, and with melted crayons, watercolor pencils, "soft pastels," and oil pastels; he used paper and fabric. He came home with about 13 pictures, all of which are lovely. They played with concepts of line art, silhouette, glue, and mixing media together. He did abstracts and still lifes. They are wonderful. Although he was the only boy in the class, Lucas seems to have enjoyed it. He felt a little weird at times, not having a boy in the class to buddy around with, but the teacher says he participated fully in the class and talked to everyone and had fun.

The last day of class culminated in a gallery showing. All the students hung their artworks on the walls and parents and family members were invited to come. The children (ages 7 to 13) stood along the walls by their artworks. When Asher and I entered along with the wave of people, Lucas looked terrified. As I approached him. smiling and ready to praise his work, he completely broke down and crumpled into my arms. He knocked me over and huddled in my lap, sobbing and hiding his head. I was surprised and concerned, of course. He was very anxious about showing his pictures to everybody. The teacher had told the students that people might ask them questions about their art, and the thought of answering questions from strangers scared the heck out of him! After a lot of unintelligible mumbling through sobs, I determined that he just wanted to escape. So, we went outside and hung around and calmed down.

He was so distraught! My heart really broke to see him in such a panic over something that was supposed to be a shining moment. The teacher didn’t mean to overwhelm him or put pressure on him. I briefly glanced around and all the other children had smiling faces and were lapping up the attention and praise. I am disappointed that I didn’t get the photo I wanted (in my imagination, Lucas was beaming beside his work), but here are some pictures of Lucas’s art. He was outside trying to get a hold of himself when I took these.


I was reminded that I have a sensitive, perfectionist boy on my hands. That although he would like to be a tough guy, he often isn’t. That although he is different from me, he is also similar, bearing some of the same insecurities and hurts that I bear. What a beautiful thing that is, and how heartbreaking at the same time.

Later that evening, Lucas proudly showed off his work to Ian and me in our home. He told us all about the materials used, which techniques he enjoyed, which works were his favorites. He was his animated, comfortable, boastful self when we were safe and in private. We plan to display his art in our home.

Lucas and I bought a nice frame for the blue/green abstract in the right photo. We framed it and gave it to Ian for Father’s Day because he liked it so much.

4 Responses to “Fine Arts Camp”

  • kittiliscious
    June 22, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Poor guy! I wouldn’t have expected that reaction from him. It’s a good reminder that even smart, handsome, talented, creative boys with lots of loving family and friends still need compliments and assurance. Knowing this makes me want to be more conscious about praising his accomplishments instead of assuming he knows how great he is.

    He showed me his glow-in-the dark drawing pad thingy a couple of weeks ago and I had fun watching him demonstrate and explain its capabilities. 🙂


  • dakini_grl
    June 22, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Poor bubbie. I’m so glad you could be there with him, and listen — and understand something that is deep in the programming.

    Please tell him I think his art is beautiful, and look forward to seeing it some time this summer.



  • kimkimkaree
    June 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm

    My heart goes out to him! I can relate to that perfectionism and sensitivity all too well from when I was his age. He may forget all about this day, but usually these are the small painful memories we look back on as we grow and measure the progression of our bravery. I heart you for sending him to art camp.


  • kimkimkaree
    June 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    P.S. my favorite is the one above Ian’s favorite.


Leave a Reply

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

  • Buy Our Festivals E-Books

  • Archives

  • Tags

  • Categories


  • Meta